Zashiki Warashi, A Traditional yet Modernized Japanese Doll

  • There are a number of old time horror stories lurking in Japanese culture reaching up to present times. Whether these stories are used for intentional purposes or just to pass on to the times, surely many of them are still famous today.

    One of the famous stories of the Yokai that remains today is the Zashiki Warashi that stemmed from the Iwate Prefecture. Aside from being an old time spook, the Zashiki Warashi has been known for different reasons in contemporary times.

    Zashiki Warashi


    The Zashiki Warashi is a Yokai in the image of a child. Although it is very much shown as a female child, a zashiki warashi can also be a little boy with a kappa haircut. It is said that this spirit brings good fortune to the house it inhabits in, but reversibly declines once it leaves. The zashiki warashi as a child is also a prankster and sometimes causes harmful mischief to the house it is in.

    Zashiki Warashi in Contemporary Times

    The Zashiki Warashi has been incorporated into a number of manga and animes in contemporary times. The most memorable of these were xxxHolic and Mononoke. In xxxHolic, the Zashiki Warashi is a secondary spirit girl character that lives on a mountain with spiritual energy. While in Mononoke, the Zashiki Warashi is a group of children who were aborted as a result from their mothers working at a brothel.


    The Tagamaya Mura no Kominka is an old Japanese house in Yamagata Prefecture that is said to be inhabited by a little Zashiki Warashi girl. The inner zashiki room is said to be where people can see or feel her and this place is actually one where you can stay at. Popular Japanese celebrities have also stayed at this place and claimed to have received good fortune from it.

    Even with all the modernity there is now, these stories have still remained. I personally couldn’t handle even just the stories, so it would really take a lot of courage to stay at the Tagayama Mura. But you should give it a try!

    Tagamaya Mura

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